Monday, June 5, 2017

Cleansing and Usefulness

Chuckle: A cop to a speeder: "Yeah, we have a quota... Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven!"
Ponder This: "Changing the way people act is the fruit of repentance." --Rick Warren

"Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for' " (Isaiah 6:6-7 NIV).
When Isaiah found himself in God's presence, he saw himself as wretchedly sinful and unworthy to behold the holiness of God. He cried out in despair, "Woe to me for I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips." His repentant cry of desperation and confession led God to forgive him and cleanse him.
When Isaiah saw himself as sinful before God, with no hope of measuring up to God's standard of holiness, he became a worthy candidate for action on God's part. He saw himself as unclean and spiritually bankrupt. But when he reached this level of repentance and confession, he became a recipient of God's miraculous forgiveness and cleansing. When the live coal touched his lips, he was told that his sins were forgiven by the power of a merciful God.
In response to God's forgiveness and cleansing, Isaiah submitted himself completely to God's will and his service. No matter how difficult the task, he was willing to go and do whatever God asked of him. The cleansing process was necessary before he could fulfill the task to which God was calling him -- before he could be useful to God. Before you or I accept God's call to speak and act for him, we must also be cleansed as Isaiah was by confessing our sins and submitting to God's control. Submitting ourselves and allowing God to purify us can be painful, but we must be purified before we are worthy to truly represent a pure and holy God.
I am reminded of a quote from a friend of D. L. Moody that went something like this: "The world has yet to see what God can do through a man totally committed to Him. With God's help and grace, I will be that man." These words may not be an exact quote, but the essence is there. This was Isaiah's attitude after God had forgiven and purified him. As he began to more clearly see God, the more aware he became of his own inadequacy and powerlessness to do anything of lasting value without God.
If you are a Christian, God has forgiven your sins and cleansed you with a definite purpose in mind for your life. But the sins of disobedience and indifference may have crept into your life. If so, please hear these words: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9 NIV). Are you ready and available to be used of God regardless of where he chooses to send you or what he asks you to do?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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